SEECA - Specialty Eye Care - Houma, LA

Veterans Vision Day

From the time he entered ophthalmology in 1998, Dr. Arthur Joseph Delahoussaye IV wanted to do something special for veterans, whom he knew from his own family’s experience had given so much themselves.

That’s how Veterans Vision Day began at SEECA, his Corporate Drive practice. On Nov. 11 – as has been done in past years – veterans and their families will receive free eye exams. 

“I wanted to give something back to the veterans of our area and or region because I knew how they had sacrificed for our country and our freedom.” Dr. Delahoussaye said. “I thought about what I could do to help out and it was logical to give my services as an ophthalmologist. The response was awesome.”

“Dr. D” began Veterans Vision Day in 2002, continuing through 2011 when personal tragedy struck, nearly ending not only the Dr. Delahoussaye’s gift to vets, but life itself.

An avid cycling rider and racer, Dr. Delahoussaye was critically injured when his bike flipped during training for an upcoming meet. He remembers being on life support at Terrebonne General Medical Center.

“I was not sure if I was going to live,” he recalled, “I was paralyzed from a broken neck. I couldn’t talk or move but I could hear.”

Months of in-patient therapy and years of out-patient therapy afterward got Dr. D walking and talking again. The soft-spoken eye doctor had a lot of help, from friends, family and in particular fellow practitioners. While he was getting better other doctors kept his practice going, refusing to let it falter. They helped his wife, Melissa,  not only with the business but also with their children.

In 2015 he came back to work, and although each day was a struggle at first, he persevered. One of the very first things he wanted to ensure was that Veterans Vision Day resumed.

Dr. D did not himself serve in the military. But his father did. Arthur J. Delahoussaye III was a Marine Corps captain killed the first night of the deadly Tet Offensive in Vietnam by ground-fire in Quang Tin Province. His namesake son was a year old. Dr. D has memories passed on from his mother reverence for the sacrifice his father made.

“I really respect the sacrifices they all have made,” Dr. D said. “They made them for America. I wasn’t in a position in medical school to do anything about it. But the first thing I did when I got my business established was say ‘let’s help the veterans’.”

Dr. D takes some comfort from knowledge that his small gift to vets gives life to the etching for his father on Vietnam Memorial Wall.

“His legacy inspires us to recognize all veterans who served to protect our freedom,” to which Dr. D ass, “He would be very proud.”